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Windows reinstall after hdd error... help needed


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#1 zonabb

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Posted 30 December 2015 - 11:57 AM

OK, after battling a harddrive failure over the weekend, I was able to boot my computer with a Ubuntu liveCD and get access to the hard drive and rescue all my files. Not sure how I was getting a no boot device available error and a code 2000-0142 that states the harddrive is dead but Ubuntu was able to see it and copy from it. I tried to restore from my Windows recovery CD that came with the machine but it kept give me some error about not being the right version and to find a CD with the right one. That lead me to many attempts at a work around to no avail.

 

In any case, I didn't have a backup (shame on me, I know) but now have a new external drive to use in the future. I plan to see if I can reinstall windows rather than repair it and test the old hard drive. I suspect it't not failing because the issue happened on a restart after I uninstalled some Apple itunes components. Coincidence that my computer with not a single problem would fail suddenly on a restart and an uninstall or just random?

 

Anyway.... I managed to rescue all my files. Do I need to set the computer up all over again or can I copy some of the user settings from the old drive files I rescued? For example, do I need to reset all my Thunderbird settings or can I overright a folder on the new setup with a setting folder I rescued? Or can I copy settings from Office and save having to recreate all new templates?

 

Just looking for any shortcuts to the lengthy PITA a new setup is... from dealing with the bloatware to reinstalling all programs (which I know I haee to do).

 

 



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#2 JohnC_21

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Posted 30 December 2015 - 12:50 PM

On linux it's easier because programs have their own config files. Windows puts settings in the registry. In Thunderbird there is a profile folder you can use after installing on the new hard drive. Other programs may have something in the AppData folder. 

 

You can test the hard drive using a bootable disk of Parted Magic. Click Disk Health on the desktop and select the short and long tests. It's possible the BCD on the hard drive became corrupted and therefore could not find a boot device. If you have a Windows System Repair Disk boot it and select Startup Repair. You can create it on any Windows 7 computer. It may take up to three attempts for a complete repair.



#3 zonabb

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Posted 30 December 2015 - 05:53 PM

Thanks. As I mentioned, the system repair disk kept giving me an error, hence buying a new hard drive. Now I've got a bigger problem and I might just walk away from this POS and buy a new machine. Basically, the issue started out of the blue on a restart. The first problem was a black screen, nothing showed. No words, no errors. Looked that up, was told the graphics card was gone. Said to open the case, take it out and reseat it. Did that, put the card back into the case, restarted it, nothing. Then I took it out along with the the CD drive and HDD drive and reseated everything, including the RAM. I put everything back in except the graphics card, I left it connect by the cable but out of the case. So the hdd, cd drive, ram and everything else was reinstalled in the case. I started the machine, again with the graphics card in its cage but outside the case. Guess what, I got a signal on the screen this time but.... I got a "no boot device available" on the screen. Again after some searching, I used f12 to get into the bios and run the epsa to test everything. The only problem identified was the hard drive, gave me this 2000-0142 error code which indicated a hard drive failure. So.... I replaced the hard drive today and started with a reinstall of windows on the new drive and the painstaking process of setting up a new machine with 3 users. After putting the hard drive in and loading the windows recovery cd that came with the machine, I was able to boot frmo it and begin the windows reinstall, which I quit so I could put the graphics card back in the machine, figuring I was good to go. Well guess what, when I installed the card and its card back in the machine and fired it up.... black screen, no signal. I again took the card out, set it next to the machine but still connected by the cable and it fires up no problem. Put it back in, screwed it in place... black screen. So basically on a restart after removing an apple itunes component called Apple Assist or something, I blew the hard drive and now I have no idea what's up with the graphics card. If it's dead (again, the epsa test indicated it was fine) or if the motherboard is going, I'm cutting my losses and adding it to the head of desktops that died on my in the last 10 years (up to four, during which time I've had a laptop for 7 years). 

 

What I am wondering is why when the graphics card is physically connected into the socket on the motherboard does it not work? So I'm going to post this is a new issue on the forums. 

One last question... if I load Windows 7 on this new hard drive and buy a new machine and then swap the hard drive (with Windows 10) in it for this with Windows 7, would I be ok?



#4 JohnC_21

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Posted 30 December 2015 - 06:09 PM

One last question... if I load Windows 7 on this new hard drive and buy a new machine and then swap the hard drive (with Windows 10) in it for this with Windows 7, would I be ok?

 

This would not work because of hardware differences and you would also run into activation problems if the Windows 7 disk was OEM.

 

Edit: It may work. See this page. Involves running sysprep.

 

I am no hardware expert but how did you run the graphics card outside of the case if the motherboard and everything else was installed back to the case. Doesn't the GPU need to be attached via the PCIe or PCI slot. I am missing something. One poster had a similar problem and determined the GPU was not fully seated because there was interference with the case. But yes, I would start a new thread in the Internal Hardware Forum.


Edited by JohnC_21, 30 December 2015 - 06:12 PM.


#5 zonabb

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Posted 30 December 2015 - 08:11 PM

The graphics card, I guess since I'm computer illiterate, was connected to a cable (I assume then it's just power) and not plugged into the slot on the mobo. I guess them that it's being power but not functioning because it's not connected and that, because it's an Alienware with the graphics card, it's running on I think an integrated graphics card/controller on the mobo? I have no idea? 



#6 JohnC_21

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Posted 30 December 2015 - 08:23 PM

If you connect the cable from the monitor to a graphics port on the rear I/O plate then it is using integrated graphics. Make sure you select Integrated graphics in UEFI/BIOS if you are using this port. You will not get a video signal on a card if it is not attached to the motherboard. Some computers will automatically detect if there is no onboard video card and switch to the integrated graphics chip.  The cable attached to the card is for additional power requirements.

 

plain-connection-diagram.jpg



#7 zonabb

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Posted 30 December 2015 - 08:29 PM

Well, it turns out that when I completed disconnect the Nvidia card from the power source, I get a signal and can enter bios. So I assume by pluging the monitor into the HDMi slot on the rear (not into a port on the card) it's using the integrated video. I am not a gamer, never run a game on this machine. I bought it because it was the last one I could find with Windows 7 since I didn't want 8. Now I wonder, can I run this as it is with the graphics card removed? I assume yes. My bigger concern is how did I, with on restart, ruin a hard drive and a graphics card with no prior issues? Is the motherboard going? 

 

I'm not even sure the drive is dead. Ubuntu was able to access it. Wondering is maybe the Apple uninstall deleted something critical... that would screw up the drive (unbootable) and the graphics card. I guess when I reinstall Windows, I can see if the card works again.


Edited by zonabb, 30 December 2015 - 08:33 PM.


#8 JohnC_21

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Posted 30 December 2015 - 08:48 PM

Yes, you can use the HDMI port to the monitor. I am not sure how you made the hard drive fail. It may have simply been a coincidence. I would download Parted Magic and run a hard drive test to get a second opinion. If Ubuntu can access the hard drive then it is not dead. You could use Parted Magic. to zero out the drive and then reformat it if the drive tests okay.

 

I couldn't say how the graphics card also failed. When you attach the card did make sure the power cable to the card is securely attached. Some graphics card need two power cables. Do you have a model number on the Alienware computer?

 

Once you install Windows to the new hard drive you can use Seatools for Windows to check the drive. Attach the drive using a USB enclosure or USB adapter. But, I would try Parted Magic as a first choice. If you have room in the computer you could install the drive as a secondary data drive.



#9 zonabb

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Posted 30 December 2015 - 08:53 PM

It's an Alienware X51,

 

When I did the restart that ended it, the black screen with nothing was the first problem. Now that I know how I went about checking things, simply disconnecting it from the slot made the monitor work, I assume from the integrated graphics. But then once I solved that, I was immediately greeted now with the Windows start up but the unbootable drive. Then ran the ePSA and it gave me the hard drive failure code. So basically, either it's a major coincidence that they both failed simultaneously, or something went wonky when I did the uninstall of some apple components. 

 

I will say that in Ubuntu, the hard drive test I was able to run failed. So the drive is shot I think. it failed the self start test or something to that effect.

 

So I guess I'll run the machine off the integrated card and be done with it, which I guess is what I've been doing all along since I've had the HDMI connected there.


Edited by zonabb, 30 December 2015 - 08:55 PM.


#10 JohnC_21

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Posted 30 December 2015 - 08:58 PM

If you ran the hard drive test in Ubuntu and it showed as failed then your hard drive had indeed failed and you were extremely lucky to retrieve your data. Yes, run the computer using the integrated graphics card. As you posted, you can always try installing your graphics card later. 

 

I doubt uninstalling software would have cause a hardware failure.

 

Edit: Is there an HDMI port on the graphics card?


Edited by JohnC_21, 30 December 2015 - 08:59 PM.


#11 zonabb

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Posted 30 December 2015 - 09:09 PM

I know it seems odd, but seriously, how crazy is it that after a required restart for an uninstall on a perfectly functioning machine I'd lose both a hard drive and a graphics card? The card only has a mini HDMI and two I think they're called DVI ports?


Edited by zonabb, 30 December 2015 - 09:09 PM.


#12 JohnC_21

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Posted 30 December 2015 - 09:22 PM

Yeah, it sounds crazy. Have you tried a different DVI cable attached to the graphics card and monitor? 



#13 zonabb

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Posted 30 December 2015 - 09:32 PM

I've never had anything connected to the card actually. Monitor came with an HDMI cable and connected it to the only HDMI (normal size) on the back of the case. The problem though is it seems that even if I tried to connect a DVI, as soon as I plug the card into the motherboard slot, it stops sending a signal to the monitor. i don't game so if i can get away without the card, so be it. I just finished the reinstall and trying to get the monitor settings right so they look good, could be the one downfall is that it won't have as good of a resolution outputted, or maybe I have no clue!!!!



#14 JohnC_21

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Posted 30 December 2015 - 09:38 PM

It's possible that since you have always had a HDMI cable attached to the back of the computer and not the graphics card the setting in UEFI/BIOS has been set to integrated graphics and not the graphics card. Is there a setting that lets you change between graphics?



#15 zonabb

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Posted 30 December 2015 - 09:59 PM

Not sure actually. I'm not sure about a lot of BIOS stuff. I think I'm ok without it actually. I'm done for the night but I'll see if once I get Windows back up and running if I can figure out if the card is spent. Thanks for your help!!!






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